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Poster: kmlyvens Date: May 16, 2017 1:31pm
Forum: texts Subject: Searching for books in the new interface

Hello Team,

I understand the need to keep up with new technologies, but as a result of the latest redesign archive.org has become almost useless for searching for historical books. It's a pity, as archive.org is the biggest repository of scanned public domain books in the Internet.

Suppose I want to search for a historical book. I type in some keywords into the search box, „Tusculanae Disputationes“. I get this: https://archive.org/search.php?query=Tusculanae%20disputationes

Since I am searching for a book, I want to see the title, author, publisher, publishing date. What sense does it make for me to see the uploading date when searching for a 19th century book? Or to filter by scanning centre, by user-defined „topics“ which are arbitrary and hopelessly incomplete? Sorting by „date archived“ also doesn't help.

I do not see when the book was published and where. Isn't this THE information that defines a book? Without necessary navigation information, archive.org becomes useful only when one has a direct URL to the needed book. Otherwise, this is a beautiful, sleek, modern and responsive Bootstrap CSS design that does its best to hide the invaluable treasures it contains.

After understanding the database fields, one can construct a proper query: https://archive.org/advancedsearch.php?q=tusculanae+disputationes&;fl[]=creator&fl[]=date&fl[]=downloads&fl[]=identifier&fl[]=imagecount&fl[]=mediatype&fl[]=publisher&fl[]=title&sort[]=date+asc&sort[]=&sort[]=&rows=50&page=1&callback=callback&save=yes&output=tables .

It is nice to be able to get JSON, XML, CSV, RSS output. The HTML table contains all the necessary information, but display of it isn't optimal, as this is for a generic query. Author, publisher, title get abbreviated. I got around this problem by this piece of user CSS:

#fillme .showOnHover {
display: block !important;
padding: none !important;
border: none !important;
margin: none !important;
margin-top: none !important;
}
#fillme .nobr {
display: none !important;
}

So in the end I get the desired functionality after jumping through a lot of hoops. But VERY few people would do this.

This post was modified by kmlyvens on 2017-05-16 20:31:11

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Poster: stbalbach Date: May 16, 2017 4:21pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Searching for books in the new interface

I wrote an app that emulates the old "classic" search interface because I prefer the numbered pages instead of infinite scroll, and the highlighting of search terms. The search results are otherwise identical since it uses the advanced search API to get the data. Just passing it along though it doesn't compete with the new interface which has many options.

http://balbach.net/cgi-bin/iacs.awk?query=space+exploration

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Poster: Jeff Kaplan Date: Mar 20, 2016 8:50am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Searching for books in the new interface

i'll try to help.

1. use the list view on the sort by bar (the icon all the way on the right, 4 horizontal lines
2. starting with your query: https://archive.org/search.php?query=Tusculanae+disputationes
3. mouse over "DATE ARCHIVED" in the sortby bar and select DATE PUBLISHED"
4. since default is in descending order click the up/down toggle arrows to the right of "Sort by" and change it to ascending order
5. now at https://archive.org/search.php?query=Tusculanae+disputationes&;sort=date i see 2 copies of that book at the top of the results as well as the date published and the author:
https://archive.org/details/ita-bnc-in1-00000398-001
https://archive.org/details/ita-bnc-in2-00000106-001
6. you can then if you wish sort by CREATOR to group texts by the author.

you can also refer to https://archive.org/about/faqs.php#Search_Tips

and fwiw, i anticipate some search UI improvements to be in place in the near future.

hope this helps.



This post was modified by Jeff Kaplan on 2016-03-20 15:50:58

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Poster: kmlyvens Date: Mar 20, 2016 10:13am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Searching for books in the new interface

Thanks, much better. This „date published“ wasn't obvious, it would be better if it were the default when searching books.

When sorting by Creator, one sees only the „date archived“, one cannot group by Creator and see the publishing date at the same time. Also, the CREATOR filter list in the right sidebar forcibly lowercases the names.

It would be nice if there was a one-click way to add/remove columns.

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Poster: Jeff Kaplan Date: Mar 20, 2016 10:54am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Searching for books in the new interface

what you say is true about creator and publish date. adn the default will not please everyone. but as i said, i expect some changes fairly soon and i will relay your concerns and comments. thanks for your thoughtful post.

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Poster: kmlyvens Date: Mar 20, 2016 11:00am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Searching for books in the new interface

Thanks a lot for the support! It is quite embarassing when the answer was so obvious, though... :)

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Poster: Jeff Kaplan Date: Mar 20, 2016 9:32pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Searching for books in the new interface

no worries. you're not alone in trying to adjust to the new search interface but once you get the hang of it there are some benefits to the new options.